Flavor is important to me.

Posted by leannekarella on April 3rd, 2013 |Filed Under My Thoughts | 2 Comments

I feel compelled to write this post because I was looking through my last post, and I make it sound like all I did on vacation was eat.

This is not true. We did tons of shopping and tourist-type stuff. We toured Alcatraz, walked the entire length of Chinatown, Saw the “Painted Ladies”, went to Haight-Ashbury twice. We took a boat harbor tour, and did I mention we shopped?

The thing is, I love food. I love flavor. I grew up with a mom who was the best cook in the world. A lot of my life was based around food. Family gatherings, holidays, getting together with friends.

I have read a lot, lot, lot of posts about food addictions and that you have to “rethink” how you think about food. Yes, I overate for a lot of my life.

The last decade or so, I did NOT overeat, but still gained a lot of weight because of health issues that were not diagnosed.

I am not addicted to food. I came home from vacation and got right back on track with IP. I do not miss the sourdough bread that I caved and ate on vacation. I maintained the same weight for 2 years with torn ligaments and a breathing issue that made exerciser almost impossible. That meant eating an average of a 1200 calorie diabetic diet so that I didn’t gain weight. I can do that. I did that, as discouraging as it was not to lose weight, I made sure I didn’t gain any.

I am a complete believer that total deprivation is a bad thing.

Yes, if you have an eating disorder, such as overeating, binge eating, etc, then you need to “rethink” food. I was, a long time ago, a binge eater. I gained weight because I didn’t purge. That’s only half joking. I suffered from a serious clinical depression, and eating was a stress reliever. Once I got that figured out, I quit the binge eating.

Even on IP, If you’ve read my recipe posts, you can see that I crave flavors. I love, love, love Chinese food. I can go to a Chinese buffet (we did it last night) and walk away with a 500 calorie, 15 carb, 45 protein meal in me and not feel I missed anything. I spent years perfecting some recipes that I have now adjusted for IP. I don’t really have any serious cravings that I just “have to have” something or another. I don’t miss sugar, and I don’t miss regular bread. I don’t even miss butter. I do miss fruit, but I have so many fruity protein drinks that I get by. And I have a strawberry or two now and then, or sneak a 1/2 oz of frozen blueberries into my IP pancakes.

So, I guess what I’m saying here, is that I love to eat because I love the flavor of food. For most of our trip in San Francisco, I had a shrimp cocktail in the afternoon and I stopped there. Seafood is my favorite food in the world, and when I eat it at home, I make it healthy without butter, without breading. The way I saw San Francisco was that it will probably be my only time there, and I so wanted to experience all of it, including the food. Roast duck in Chinatown, Seafood on the wharf (including the garlic butter), coffee–oh I went a little nuts for SF coffee!

I wish I could share the way I view food now. I always make a conscious decision when I’m going to stray from the diet. And until this vacation (three months into the diet) I never strayed far enough to fall out of ketosis. All my extras were protein based. And if I would have avoided the darned sourdough bread, I would have done excellent on vacation. But that bread was a decision I made. Yes, I wanted it. Yes, it would take me out of ketosis. Yes, enjoying that dinner, in that place with my daughter, making a memory, was worth it to me. For the last 2 years before starting IP I made such decisions. I followed a very low-carb diet to maintain my weight, but there were pizza days. There were days I ate tempura at the Japanese restaurant I love. (Haven’t been there since starting IP!) There were even Subway sandwich days.

What I did give up years and years ago was huge portion sizes. I listen to my body, and when I’m full, I stop. I know not everyone can do this, and to those people, I agree, maybe you should avoid certain things. But in my mind, if I thought I could never have a real slice of thick, buttery-crusted pizza again in my life, what’s the use in living? Yes, a bit drastic, maybe overstated, but I think I make my point.

For now, I will not eat the tempura, I will not eat the pizza (until my next vacation when I know I will eat a piece of the best pizza ever made), and I will continue with the IP plan to the point that it doesn’t inhibit me from experiencing my flavors. Chinese, Italian, Mexican… But when I’m in maintenance, I will never tell myself NO, YOU CAN’T HAVE THAT. Sometimes all I need is a bite for the flavor. If it looks that good, and my mouth waters, I will take that bite and savor it.

I find this a much healthier way of looking at food than the people who deprive themselves, or the people on the forums who berate someone because they fell off the diet wagon and caved to a piece of chocolate. They make the poor person who is feeling guilty (seriously, I totally disagree with food guilt!) because they had a craving. I tried total deprivation as a young, overweight person, and all it did was make me fall way harder off whatever eating plan I was on, and stay off, and gain weight.

Guess what. I had one bite of my kiddo’s Ghirardelli chocolate. That was all I needed, and it tasted good.

I commend those who can follow IP to the letter. I am not one of those people, but that’s okay. I’m losing weight, I feel great, and I’m still enjoying life. I don’t count the days until this diet ends, as many seem to. I count the pounds I shed, and smile. I’ll get there when I get there!


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